Getting ready to return to Japan!
Konnichiwa! Ohisashiburi desu ne?
Hello- long time no see :) Sorry it's been nearly a year since my last update. Many, many things have redirected my attention from blogging, not the least of which has been a change in how I've been feeling about sharing the story of our daily lives as an autism family. As Brendan's been growing (he's 13 as of last week! & nearly finished with 7th grade) it's been getting clearer that his own voice is an essential part of this story. I've felt caught between continuing to blog without his perspective & Brendan's not quite being ready to jump into the online world- so I've been silent, online at least :)
The silence is about to change, for both of us, though. Our family is leaving for our second trip to Japan next Tuesday, April 14th, & since he'll be missing about 8 days of school, we decided as a group, (parents, teachers & Brendan) that he'd write a travel blog as part of his school work abroad. We set up his blog, "Year of the Rat" a couple of days ago (check out the links for his first post, detailing the itinerary for the trip :) and, armed with his own camera, he's prepared to share his own view of Japan with the world. (Hooray!!!) I'll be updating this blog on a daily basis as well, so look for our posts from Japan beginning some time mid-next-week.
We're very much looking forward to experiencing Japan with nearly 2 more years of language lessons under our belts. I can also read more kanji & fluently read both phonetic alphabets this time, which bodes well for shopping (at the very least), since last time I couldn't figure out what shops were selling what from the signs posted outside.... We're also staying in japanese-style accomodations for the whole trip this time (no hotels!!), so we'll be able to cook in or eat out as we wish, & won't be nearly as dependent on convenience stores for our meals. We'll be meeting our present Japanese teacher, Shizuka, & her husband in Tokyo during the 2nd half of the trip, & plan to visit the Studio Ghibli museum with them, which will feel very much like a pilgrimage, since Brendan's interest in Japan & learning japanese was sparked by watching the movie "My Neighbour Totoro" when he was 4 :) We're also going to visit one of the largest craft stores in Tokyo, which makes me dizzy every time I think about it (wheeee!).
So, we're in "pre-packing" phase (preparing everything short of putting them in suitcases) & Charlie's adding american comfort foods to the shopping list (he's the one in the family who hasn't fully adopted japanese food as soul food... :). Brendan used his birthday gift cards to buy a load of books to amuse him on the trip & I've figured put which knitting projects are going with me. Next time you hear from us, we'll be there!